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The centerpiece of Clark County government has always been the county courthouse. Historically, it is the place where most citizens have come into direct contact with government, whether it be to assess personal property, pay real estate taxes, obtain a marriage license, or register to vote. Clark County was first established in 1818, and therefore became one of the five counties in existence at the time Arkansas became a Territory in 1819. Court was held in various places in those early days, such as the home of pioneer Jacob Barkman, west of the Caddo River, near what is now Caddo Valley. Later, a county seat was established at Greenville, which was located to the southwest along the Military Road (also known as the Southwest Trail). In 1842 Arkadelphia became the permanent location of the county seat, and two years after that, a courthouse was constructed to house governmental operations. The 1840s structure survived the tumultuous years of the Civil War, and during Reconstruction large columns were added to the building. This courthouse served Clark County until the current facility was built in 1899.



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